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Open Doors presents opportunity to peek inside crafter studios

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • At 68, Linda is the oldest female resident at Lukas Community, and said she considers herself a grandmother to some of the younger residents. She spends several days a week working at the community’s weavery, doing tasks such as separating wool.

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lukas Community resident Dan works to separate wool to prepare it for carding and spinning in the Lukas Community’s weavery last week. 

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Andrew, a resident at the Lukas Community, work on a loom within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products. Below, a scarf is partially finished on the loom. Staff photoS by Ashley Saari

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents at the Lukas Community work on looms within the community’s weavery, where they make scarves, bags, rugs and other products.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, November 02, 2017

“I’m the oldest woman here, so all the younger kids, they call me Grandma,” comments Linda.

She looks the part: Sitting in a rocking chair, legs covered by an apron and full of a pile of raw wool. Her hands are busy, dipping into the pile for a piece of wool, and carefully pulling it apart into wisps that are more suitable for spinning into thread.

Behind her, other members of the Lukas Community in Temple are busy at their own tasks in the weavery. Some, like Linda, are separating wool, and others are seated at large, old-fashioned looms, turning the thread into scarves, bags, rugs and other woven goods.

The Lukas Community is a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities. They live and work on the property, including raising sheep and making products from their wool. This weekend, the Lukas Community weavery is on a list of studios on the League of New Hampshire Craftsman’s Open Doors tour. Interested art admirers can walk into artisan’s usually private spaces, speak with them, and purchase products. 

A shelf at the front of the Lukas Community studio shows their wares – both the woven and felted ones, along with colorfully bound notebooks and woodworking.

Everything there, the residents learned on the job in the Lukas craft studios.

“When I first started weaving, it looked like this,” explained Linda, indicating a wavy pattern with her fingers. She got past that initial awkwardness, she said, and now, she finds her days at the weavery very satisfying. She said that the weavery was one of the things that attracted her and her family to the Lukas Community when they were looking for a permanent residence for her. 

“When I was living with my parents, I said I wanted a job where I could work with my hands and do weaving. So they found the Lukas Community,” she said.

Now 68, with most of her family passed away, Linda said that the other residents at Lukas have become her family – with her happily filling the “grandmother” role.

“Being with everyone is nice, because I like the other residents,” she said. “My parents died a long time ago, and my sister has died, so the people at the community, they’re my family now. It’s like working with my family.”

Some of their products are produced from donated or purchased thread. Others, from thread produced from scratch, sheered from the community’s four sheep, separated, carded, spun and dyed. 

Including the Lukas Community, there are 102 artisans who are on the tour, said Miriam Carter, executive director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.

“This actually gets people into the studio,” said Carter. “It’s a great way to get to know places like the Lukas Community.”

It’s also a place where you can purchase products that aren’t usually available. While the Lukas Community sells their woven goods at select craft fairs, they’re not available with any regularity at any local locations. 

Other local participants include Terrapin Glass in Jaffrey, Oak Leaves Studio in Wilton, Lisa Dessaint’s Antrim studio at 52 Main Street and Nelson’s Candy in Wilton.

Open Doors is occurring both days this weekend. For more information and to access an interactive map, visit nhopendoors.com. The website also has a Google map showing the location of each participant with detailed driving directions, so visitors can plan their routes in advance or use it on the road to navigate to locations they wish to visit. The website also features recommended itineraries throughout the state suggested by NH Open Doors participants. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.